Sunday, June 16, 2024

Wenger: Public criticism of players can be counter-productive

We know that Arsene Wenger is not a manager who hangs his players out to dry, but he has admitted that sometimes he has to bite his lip when he feels let down.

The Arsenal manager rarely, if ever, singles out individuals for public criticism, and often says things about the team in general that we know he can’t really be thinking.

His preferred method is to deal with things behind the scenes, rather than airing the dirty laundry in front of everyone, and he says that lambasting a player in the media can have negative consequences.

“Look, ideally you have to be careful, you cannot do that in every single game,” he said.

“You can do that in extreme situations sometimes but it has to be handled carefully. I spoke before about the players dealing with stress. It just makes that stress level worse for them.

“Top players have a good objective assessment of their performances. They know well where they stand.”

Some would argue that too many Arsenal players don’t seem to have that ability, or that Wenger is too soft on them, and he has admitted that sometimes it’s not easy for him to maintain his cool, especially in the heat of the moment.

“Of course sometimes I have to bite my lip,” he continued.

“Like you have to do it in your job, everywhere, you know? That’s part of the job of a manager.

“You cannot always speak out, you have to control what you say. There are times I have been tempted, of course.”

The Observer article gives a nice example of some behind the scenes management with Gilberto Silva, but other players might actually need a good kick up the arse, and the questions over Wenger has been too lenient with some of them remain.

Let’s hope they respond today to whatever was said in midweek after the defeat to Sp*rs.

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When a player like Henry was criticised by the press, he had the balls to call the so-called journalists and then prove them wrong on the pitch the next match. Heck Sanchez probably criticises himself more than the public does. Don’t tell me these babies in the current team have their feelings hurt.

Faisal Narrage

People are individuals, so obe blanket response doesn’t work for all. For some, maybe a bollocking is exactly what they need. This is high level sports.

I can only ever recall one player Wenger publicly bollocking, and that was a young Van Persie. And he responded to it by calming down, controlling his temper, and becoming even better.

Wenger needs to remember that, but he seemingly has forgotten a lot of things. Like once upon a time, he had a team of big midfielders like Vieira, with leadership qualities.


depends on situations , i guess . not criticizing at all might have the opposite effect . for instance walcot used to be the kind of player that never tracks back until this season , and it took him 10 years at arsenal to start tracking back . he only started defending for the team when he lost his place in the england squad which suggests that he was taking his position for granted this whole time. at times i feel like wenger just let them be , thinking they will figure it out themselves sometime in the future .… Read more »

Andy Mack

The important word he used was ‘Public’.
I’m sure they get criticised by the manager in private.

Stringer Bell

In my mind (which can be a dangerous place to go alone) I have no doubt Wenger had placed to much trust in players like Ramsey Theo, who are clearly not first team players of any club who seriously want to challenge for the league and champions league.

Lord Bendtner

I’m with you on that all the way until players start playing crappy football game after game. Then, you cannot criticize the criticism for being critical.
Right now, we are playing like crap.

Lord Bendtner

Yesterday, I was contemplating about Arsenal’s recent style of football. When I was young, I decided to support Arsenal. It wasn’t all because of the trophies etc, No. The number one reason I began supporting Arsenal was because of the style of their play. Every attack would keep me at the edge of my seat, convinced and knowing that these players can do anything and score. The fluidity of our plays was an absolute delight to watch. What I see now, is ball giving away waaay too often. Simple passes going wrong. Simple defending going down the drain. If my… Read more »

sad eyes

We look like liverpool mate!


Every job has a degree of exterior criticism from customers, coworkers, and managment- footballers are compensated to a degree that represents the very public and elite nature of their positions- and if they can’t handle the stress, perhaps they should find different employment.


There’s a fine line – I agree with Wenger that he doesn’t need to publically exorciate individual players like Mourihno constantly does. The results seem pretty obvious – Mourihno was forced out of both Madrid and Chelsea as the players hated him so much. But that doesn’t mean that Wenger needs to constantly coddle them either. He can say something like the players need to play better which doesn’t call out specific players.


I strongly agree with Wenger here – criticism is important and can be valuable, but there is no reason whatsoever for it to be hung out in the public.

Indian Gooner

I find it absolutely sensible to deal with the players behind the know..rather than having a go at them in public unlike a certain fagg#t that we are going to be playing against today!
It doesn’t really matter if it doen’t make the TRP craving shitheads happy or not!
Reasonable to say the least.


Class act. Seriously. You can say they’re professional footballers and are paid handsomely for their talent – but what value do you get taking a run at a player’s performance to the wanks in the media? The vitriol spewed by the fans more than outweigh any harsh words Arsene may have had, anyways. There are some real numpties out there like Pluto in Gooner land – present Arses excluded. Most of you lot are pretty rational, and a good read too.


Supporters jeered the players at the Crystal Palace debacle. They then put together a string of three wins and their best sustained performances almost all season. A coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe it stung the pride of some of them and they remembered why they are being paid.


Blind faith is worse.


If players were unmotivated just because of critics, i think they can’t become a great one.

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